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South Shields premier political blog

Same old, same old.

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Yesterday’s PMQs was a tedious affair

Bercow may well have made some sort of mark by rebuking three Tories and one Labour MP, he may have silenced the chamber for a while after the main combatants had sat down, and he may well have fired a warning shot across across the government’s front bench over ministerial announcements, but he failed to transform the performance or accountability of Gordon Brown. The Prime Minister was as robotic and tedious as ever, droning, huffing and puffing, repeating the same old tired mantras about Tory “cuts”, having decided that this will be the battleground  for the next election – Mr. Speaker may well wish for “snappier” answers but Gordon isn’t about to have a Damascene conversion, answers are not what are called for at PMQs.

Despite Conservative leader David Cameron’s probing and questioning about the Treasury’s own figures on spending projections the Prime Minister point blank refuses to “front up” and tell the truth about the dire state of the economy and his own plans to reign back on planned spending increases, and this is where the real battleground ahead lies. Which party will have the most credibility when it comes to dealing with the crippling debt burden that Brown has hanging over our heads, the public are no fools, we know that current public spending plans are not sustainable and that some severe belt tightening and even some tax increases must follow shortly to start bringing the massive budget deficit down to a point that begins to look as though it may be managed. We know full well that the next government, whatever it’s colour, cannot continue to imagine that public spending will  grow at a rate akin to Jack’s magic beanstalk, the gardener needs a sharp axe not a bag of foul smelling fertiliser, to ensure that this gargantuan weed doesn’t choke the growth of the fresh new flowers of spring.

Cameron knows that, Darling knows that, and the Governer of the Bank of England knows it too, Mervyn King said only yesterday:

“The scale of the deficit is truly extraordinary. There will certainly need to be a plan for the lifetime of the next parliament, contingent on the state of the economy, to show how those deficits will be brought down”.

With planned borrowing set to increase by an additional £700bn over the next five years, thanks to Brown’s “investments”, national debt will stand at around £1.3 trillion! That’s an awful lot of noughts to you and me, and a millstone around the necks of my children, just servicing the interest on this debt will cost the government of the day more than what it spends on education or defence. Have you got that, has it sunk in?

Simple story isn’t it, if you or I were in so much debt we would stop all spending on non essential items and perhaps even sell off whatever assets we could to forstall bankruptcy, but the only person who apparently does not get it is Gordon Brown, who continues to come to the Dispatch Box every week and lie through his teeth about how the Tories plan to cut spending and how he does not.

Same old, same old Gordon, tribal, obstinate, and sadly deluded, and what is more he takes us all for fools. Plan A is to lose the election and leave the economy in ruins in the hope that the Conservatives will take a huge axe to the Treasury and become the most hated and despised government ever – within six months! Plan B (should it ever be needed) is that a miraculous turnaround in Labour’s fortunes bestows another term in office for this shambolic Prime Minister and he brings in his own gardeners to prune the beanstalk. You can see where I’m leading you, the truth is Brown and Darling have to plan to reduce the increases in public spending at the very least, failure to do so may see the men in grey suits at the IMF first being lobbied for immediate assistance and then insisting on swingeing huge cuts as the price to pay for the bail out.

However, that’s the trouble with Brown, continual denial of his part in our economic downfall has led him to this inability to come to the House of Commons and tell the truth, and the truth is “cuts” are an inevitability after the next election, no matter who wins it. He has chosen the wrong battleground, the choice will not be between cuts or investment in public services, the choices will be between what to save and what to lay waste, in order to prevent a huge humiliation for the British people, and to put the economy back on the road to financial probity. The party with the most credible open and honest appraoch to our debt  problems will be the party that wins the battle, and so long as Brown denies this reality he will be left leading his troops over the edge of a cliff wearing blindfolds!

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Written by curly

June 25, 2009 at 9:47 am

One Response

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  1. Don’t forget about the £100 billion of PFI debt and the absolutely terrifying public sector pensions shortfall (which is bigger than our entire national debt).

    Letters From A Tory

    June 25, 2009 at 10:08 am


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